Journal Article

Phospholipase D Signaling Regulates Microtubule Organization in the Fucoid Alga <i>Silvetia compressa</i>

Nick T. Peters, Kyle O. Logan, Anne Catherine Miller and Darryl L. Kropf

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 48, issue 12, pages 1764-1774
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Phospholipase D Signaling Regulates Microtubule Organization in the Fucoid Alga Silvetia compressa

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Recent studies in higher plants or animals have shown that phospholipase D (PLD) signaling regulates many aspects of development, including organization of microtubules (MTs), actin and the endomembrane system. PLD hydrolyzes structural phospholipids to form the second messenger phosphatidic acid (PA). To begin to understand the signaling pathways and molecules that regulate cytoskeletal and endomembrane arrays during early development in the brown alga, Silvetia compressa, we altered PLD activity by applying butyl alcohols to zygotes. 1-Butanol activates PLD and is a preferred substrate, primarily forming phosphatidyl butanol (P-butanol), which is not a signaling molecule. Treatment with 1-butanol inhibited cell division and cytokinesis but not photopolarization or germination, suggesting an MT-based effect. Immunolabeling revealed that 1-butanol treatment rapidly disrupted MT arrays and caused zygotes to arrest in metaphase. MT arrays recovered rapidly following butanol washout, but subsequent development depended on the timing of the treatment regime. Additionally, treatment with 1-butanol early in development disrupted endomembrane organization, known to require functional MTs. Interestingly, treatment with higher concentrations of 2-butanol, which also activates PLD, mimicked the effects of 1-butanol. In contrast, the control t-butanol had no effect on MTs or development. These results indicate that S. compressa zygotes utilize PLD signaling to regulate MT arrays. In contrast, PLD signaling does not appear to regulate actin arrays or endomembrane trafficking directly. This is the first report describing the signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal organization in the stramenopile (heterokont) lineage.

Keywords: Brown algae; Cytoskeleton; Development; Endomembrane; Phosphatidic acid; Phospholipase D

Journal Article.  6333 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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